By Joel Alderman
Tom Nolan, a 6-3, 180-pound guard, who starred at Fairfield Prep, is among five players who will be joining the Fairfield University men’s basketball team this fall. Nolan was a first team Class LL All-State selection at Prep this past season, after gaining second team honors the year before. He helped lead Coach Leo Redgate’s Jesuits to the Class LL championship this year, when the team finished with a 25-2.
The Stags’ coach, Sydney Johnson, feels that “Tom is a fierce competitor, with a well-rounded skill set.”
Nolan is among five recruits coming to Fairfield. Of the remaining four, two are New Englanders and a third played here in prep school. They are Curtis Cobb (Fall River, Mass.), Scott King, Jr. (Derry, N.H.), and Jerry Johnson Jr. (Memphis, Tenn.). Only the fifth recruit, Jonathan Kasibabu (Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo) does not have a connection to the six-state area.
Cobb is a 6-4, 175-pound guard, and was ranked sixth in Massachusetts by ESPN. He is listed as a three-star recruit by several recruiting services. He play at Wilbraham & Monson Academy, and was a 2015 McDonald’s All-America nominee. Johnson says that Cobb can pass, dribble and shoot at a high level.
King will add height and bulk to the Stags’ roster. He is a 6-10, 230-pound forward, and carries the distinction of being a good three-point shooter, which is unusual for a big man. He is coming to Fairfield as a transfer from Stony Brook, where he shot 36 percent from three-point range and 74 percent from the free throw line over his three year career for the Seawolves.
Coach Johnson says he has known King for several years and “always appreciated his work ethic, skill level, and passion for the game.” King was in the same AAU program that sophomore Tyler Nelson and Curtis Cobb played for. He will be a graduate student at Fairfield, pursuing a master’s degree in business psychology.
Johnson, bears the same last name but is not releated to the coach. Though not a native of New England, he spent much of his scholastic career in Fitchburg, Mass., where he played at Notre Dame Preparatory School and was ranked 13th in the state and 48th overall in New England by the New England Recruiting Report. He previously attended Houston High School in Tennessee and was picked as an All-Metro player in Memphis following the 2013-14 season.
Kasibabu went to school in Westtown, Pa., but before coming to this country he was selected to the Euroleague Nike International Junior All-Tournament team in 2014. He is a 6-8 forward and was named a “Player to Watch” at the Chick-Fil-A Classic earlier in the season.
Fairfield is hoping the new additions will bring the Stags much improvement. They’ll have nowhere to go but up, after finishing the MAAC season tied with Marist for tenth and last place with a 5-15 record, and an overall mark of 7-25.